TriX vs HP5+

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ChristopherCoy, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I recently tried a few rolls of Ilford HP5+, instead of my normal "go to" rolls of TriX. I shot the HP5+ with the F100 and the 24-70 2.8, and then developed it in XTOL at 8.5 mins according to the Massive Development Chart's instructions. After scanning the negatives, I thought I liked it... But after trying it on some 5x7 VC RC paper, I'm not sure.

    The HP5+ seems to be a lot grainier than the TriX, and it's SOOOOOOOO much more contrasty. I have some working prints that are drying right now, and I'll scan them later, but the image on paper is so contrasty that I am not liking it very much. I had to use a "0" filter for 25 seconds to get it even remotely useable, and I suspect that I'll have to go up even higher for me to be satisfied.

    Am I nearly correct in that HP5+ is more contrasty and grainier, or am I doing something wrong?
     
  2. zsas

    zsas Member

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    What do you agitate, Ilford style,
    "Fit the sealing cap and turn the tank upside down four times during the first 10 seconds and again for 10 seconds (that is, four inversions) at the start of every further minute to agitate the developer. Each time you invert the tank tap it on the bench to dislodge any air bubbles which may have formed on the film."

    I thought HP5+ was 8 mins also in Xtol stock not 8.5 mins, Massive Dev has 8.5 mins, could that extra 30 seconds (6% more dev than the manufacturer recommends) be your issue?
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    It's hard to make a judgement based on a single roll. With any new film it takes a bit of tweeking to get the best results. But having said that I have never like HP5+.
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    My experience with HP5+ has been that it is far less contrasty than Tri-X. In fact, the first few rolls I hated because they were so...blah...no snap to them at all.

    It definitely sounds like you have over developed. Keep trying. it is a lovely film (but, I still prefer Tri-X).
     
  5. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    What Gerald said. Both are great films and capable of more grain or less grain, or more contrast or less based on how it's handled thru exposure, EI, developer used, dilutions, development technique, etc, etc. Some favor one over the other but few who do have taken both to the limits in many situations with many different developers to see the true potential of both. Those that have know that both are capable of terrific results in many circumstances. If I was somehow forced to use one over the other I would not lose sleep over it, I'd just dial it in until I was happy and stick to it.
     
  6. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    If one develops TriX by Kodak's recommendations, and HP5+ by Ilford's, I think one may find that the two are closer than one might imagine. The massive development chart is handy, but not always accurate, IMHO.
     
  7. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I switched years ago from Trix. Using hc110 solution b at minutes , grain is less and no contrast issues. Altho, i do print at grade 3 and make my negatives to fit the light source.
     
  8. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    So here is my in progress work, and this is why I believe that HP5+ is more contrasty.

    Here is the original negative scan.

    [​IMG]
    WranglerF100fweb by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr


    Here is the digitally tweaked negative scan. Notice the detail in his front legs.

    [​IMG]
    WranglerF100f by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

    Here is my test sheet.

    [​IMG]
    TimeSheet by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

    Based on my test sheet, I thought I could go a little longer than 14 secs, so I went with 17 seconds at with no filter. I didn't like the blown highlights on his front legs. There's barely any detail there.

    [​IMG]
    17SecNoFilter by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr


    So then I thought that if it was too contrasty, I would lower the contrast with a filter. I went with 0 because I didn't feel like dicking around from step to step at the time. 17 secs with 0 filter. This opened his eyes up a little, and gave me more details in the blacks, but I knew I could add some burn time.

    [​IMG]
    17Sec0Filter by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

    So I upped it to 25 seconds with a 0 filter, and this is where I ended up. I'm satisfied with his eyes and the detail in the blacks, but the window and highlight in bottom right can use some burning, and then the highlights in his head and front legs could use some burning too.

    [​IMG]
    25Sec0Filter by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr


    I am using an Omega B600 enlarger with a 50mm lens set at F16 or f11. I developed in Ilford paper developer I think (its been mixed for months, Kodak indicator stop bath, and Ilford Fixer. The paper I am using is Arista RC VC something or nother. Its basically the 100 sheet 'student special' box I believe.


    With all of my input aside (i.e. printing, paper choice, chemical choices, time choices etc...) I find the HP5+ negatives a lot more dense, than my usual TriX negatives. To me TriX was or is a lot more forgiving. During a usual printing session, with a TriX negative, I could pretty much get my print where I wanted it within just a few test prints (excluding dodging, burning, and all the fine details.) But then again, all I've used since starting film again has been TriX so maybe its just because I'm used to it and know what to expect and how to work with it.


    But then again... as I am typing this, and looking over my working prints, I am realizing some things that I can do to make the final print better. Mmmmaybe I just needed to talk it out. Mmmmmaybe HP5+ isn't so bad. hmmmmm.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2012
  9. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Try D-76, or or Perceptol for HP5+, I did develop HP5+ few times with D-76 and got nice results even it is not my developer of choice, it wasn't contrast roll, but was little grainy which is fine for me, at least i got something good to use.

    Don't give up on one or 2 rolls, i was so quick judging many rolls from beginning but later one i found out that any B&W roll can give nice decent results if you understand it and the process you gonna use with it.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    If it's too contrasty, you need to develop it less! Simple as that. With in-control processes, I would bet money than an independent observer could not tell the difference (let alone which is which) between prints of an identical scene made on HP5 and Tri-X.

    PS: don't use linear time-steps for your test-strip. Use f/stop numbering, i.e. logarithmic spacing: 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32. Gives you equal tonal difference between each step and you cover more tonal range with your test strip without wasting a bunch of paper on near-identically-toned steps at the longer end. Read up on f/stop printing; it does not require an f/stop timer and it will make your life so much easier.
     
  11. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    So if I understand this correctly... Instead of 2-4-6-8-10 second intervals, I would do 2.8-4-5.6-8-11-16 second exposures?

    And this refers only to time, correct? My lens setting on the enlarger would stay on f11 or f16 the entire time?

    I think I get the gist, but with linear intervals, I set my timer on the time, then slide a sheet from one side of the print to the other. How do you do that with fstop printing? If I added 5.6 seconds on top of the 8 second, that would give me 13.6 seconds. I would have to cover that 8 second portion right?
     
  12. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    ChristopherCoy,
    You're very close. The f/stop number is the focal length of the lens divided by the diameter of the aperture. The amount of light that passes through an aperture per unit time is proportional to the square of the radius. Thus stepping from 2.8 to 4 halves the amount of light (because 2.8 * (square root of 2) = 4), stepping from 4 to 5.6 halves the light again.

    If you want to go by full stops, you should do 2.8-5.6-11-22 second exposures. If you want to go by half stops, then the 2.8-4-5.6-8-11-16 seconds will give you half stops instead.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Here is a table I use to guide me as I progressively cover more of the print. Each strip ends up being exposed for a total time equal to the interval indicated, plus the sum of the times for all previous (now covered) strips.

    It gives me individual test strips that are exposed for the following series of total times: 4, 6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32, 45 and 64 seconds.

    It has the advantage of requiring that the enlarger go on and off just once (at the beginning and end).
     

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  15. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    You can't compare two films until you have them developed to equal or at least similar contrast levels. This can take some trial and error.
     
  16. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    HP5 is a great film. I like it better than Tri-X at 400. Tri-X is more pushable, though.

    I get better staining with PMK with HP5 also. I get more dramatic staining on Tri-X, but much worse general stain which is basically like fog. HP5 stains much more cleanly.

    Still, if HP5 disappeared I could more than live with Tri-X - and vice versa.
     
  17. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    This is, apparently, not the answer the OP is looking for. :sad:
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Exactly right. "f/stop printing" is a really bad misnomer, it should be called "logarithmic printing" and it has absolutely nothing (sorry ME Super) to do with lens apertures at all*. Paper is a negative just like film, though the curve is funkier and S-shaped. To get a specific change in tone, you want to multiply the exposure by some factor, not add on some constant. Leave your enlarger lens at its optimum setting (generally 2 stops from open) unless that causes problems with stupidly long (>60s) or short (<4s) print exposures and control your density with printing time.

    So the 2.8-4-5.6-8-11-16 second sequence gives you a factor of 1.4=sqrt(2), which is half-stop spacing when used as times. When you're printing at lower grades you need bigger steps and when printing at higher grades, you need smaller steps to achieve the same shift in tone; the reason is the changed slope of the paper's response.

    You want the total exposure for each bit of paper to be the number from the sequence, so (assuming you're doing the covering-up thing) each exposure is the difference between respective steps: 2.8, 4-2.8=1.2, 5.6-4=1.6, 8-5.6=2.4, 11-8=3, 16-11=5, 23-16=7, 32-23=9.


    * the numerical sequence looks familiar only because it is a geometric sequence with factor sqrt(2). The numbers for full stops on aperture match the numbers for half stops on time because aperture area and therefore exposure varies quadratically with respect to f-number.
     
  19. Lionel1972

    Lionel1972 Member

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    There's something I don't get with this Fstop printing theory. I thought that to get 1 stop more exposure you should double the amount of light per time units that expose your emultion. I thought you can do that either by open up the lens by 1 stop (F numbers does go by those non-linear steps) or by just doubling the exposure time (no need to go non-linear on time). Is paper emultion so different than negative emultion to the point that this rule don't apply anymore? I didn't know it needed a logithimic scale like perceived sound volume, it looks quite extreem to me.
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Exactly correct. The process known as f stop printing just borrows the logarithmic scale from the aperture and applies it to the time.

    1, 2, 4, 8, 16 seconds is the same doubling each time as 2.8, 5.6, 11, 22 seconds. The advantage is in using it for test strips. If you use the traditional method of 10 second steps then at the start going from 10 to 20 is quite a difference. At the other end of the strip e.g. 50 to 60 is not much of a change.

    Using the 'f stop' sequence gives an equal percentage change per step. You don't have to use the actual numbers used in f stops. 10, 20, 40, 80, etc. is equally valid.


    Steve.
     
  21. Lionel1972

    Lionel1972 Member

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    Thanks for the clarification Steve. Once I wanted to see my test strips with one full stop steps I calculated this series of exposure times for 5 sliding positions of the sliding darkslide cover: 40, 20, 10, 5 and 5 seconds. That gives me stripes exposed as this: 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 seconds which covers the entire range of most of the negative I should encounter. Then I do a second test strip to fine tune my selected time. Maybe 2.8, 5.6, 11, 22 get closer to the actual curve of the paper, but in this case shouldn't we also apply these time steps with our cameras?
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    We do.

    Each stop of aperture lets in half as much or twice as much light. Each stop of shutter speed opens for half or twice as long.

    The confusion arises when we use the same numbers on the aperture ring for our exposure times. The aperture f stop is derived from the diameter of the aperture opening whereas the actual area of the opening is proportional to the square of the aperture (a = pi x r squared).

    Apertures are marked up in f stop figures, each one being the square root of two times the last one. e.g. 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, etc.

    If we use the same numbers applied to exposure then we get half stop increments. If we use alternate numbers, they are full stops.

    I think it's easier to avoid confusion and use 10, 20, 40, etc, as you are doing.

    If you then find that the exposure you want is e.g. somewhere between 30 and 40 seconds then you can do a new test strip just between these values. With a bit more experience, you can judge where it is going to end up. e.g. if it's closer to 30 than 40 and just needs to be slightly darker, you might judge that 33 is enough and then you can be brave and do a whole print or just try an offcut of paper for that time.


    Steve.
     
  23. Lionel1972

    Lionel1972 Member

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    I was talking about using the same time steps numbers as apperture numbers which some people do with paper exposures of test strips (i.e. 2.8, 5.6, 11, 22 are not accurate doubling steps whereas 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 are strict one stop steps in time). Of course 2, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, etc... are accurate F numbers for doubling the amount of light with fixed exposure time. I was wondering about the time steps, nor apperture steps in camera.
     
  24. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Older cameras have 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 and 1/200 but they also tend to have 1/10 which is obviously not half of 1/25 and if they go faster than 1/200 then 1/300 is often the next speed or they sometimes jump from 1/100 to a top speed of 1/250

    http://www.kl-riess.dk/compur.01.jpg


    Steve.
     
  25. Lionel1972

    Lionel1972 Member

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    Yes you're right, it doesn"t seem that accurate doubling of time steps is very critical. So I don't think using 2.8, 5.6, 11, 22 for printing test strips has a real advange over strick doubling steps like 10, 20, 40. I tend to think it's more complicated and less accurate.
     
  26. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    A little word about this subject. I haved used both of them and both can give more or less contrast or grain, depending of the recipe used. Maybe trix can be more pushable than the hp5. On the other hand, I prefer the no-curly hp5 film and its transparent base, while the trix is curly and has a purple base (anti-halo) that cannot be entirely removed even with a pre-wash.
    It's only me.
    :wink: